"In The Fight to Save the Town
(Avid Reader/Simon & Schuster), urban law expert and author Michelle Wilde Anderson offers unsparing, humanistic portraits of the hardships left behind in four such places. But this book is not a eulogy or a lament. Instead, Anderson travels to four blue-collar communities that are poor, broke, and progressing. In one, Josephine County, Oregon, community leaders have enacted new taxes to support basic services in a rural area with fiercely anti-government politics. Our smallest governments shape people’s safety, comfort, and life chances. For decades, these governments have no longer just reflected inequality — they have helped drive it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Anderson argues that a new generation of local leaders are figuring out how to turn poverty traps back into gateway cities. Anderson will be joined in conversation by Kate Dwyer, Executive Director of the Four Way Community Foundation.
Decades of cuts to local government amidst rising concentrations of poverty have wreaked havoc on communities left behind by the modern economy. Some of these discarded places are rural. Others are big cities, small cities, or historic suburbs. Some vote blue, others red. Some are the most diverse communities in America, while others are nearly all white, all Latino, or all Black. All are routinely trashed by outsiders for their poverty and their politics. Mostly, their governments are just broke. Forty years after the anti-tax revolution began protecting wealthy taxpayers and their cities, our high-poverty cities and counties have run out of services to cut, properties to sell, bills to defer, and risky loans to take." (Promo Copy)